Man Accused of Killing NJ Councilor Pleads Not Guilty Amidst Dramatic Court Appearance

Man Accused of Killing NJ Councilor Pleads Not Guilty Amidst Dramatic Court Appearance

Rashid Ali Bynum, a 29-year-old man facing first-degree murder charges in the death of Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour, made a controversial court appearance on Monday.

Dwumfour, 30, was tragically shot 14 times in her car outside her Sayreville home last February.

As the charges against him were read at the Middlesex County Courthouse, Bynum was caught yawning and making faces, hardly reflecting the gravity of the situation.

Dramatic Courtroom Scenes

Wearing all green, Bynum appeared to smirk and nonchalantly peered behind his hair every time the gun used in the murder was mentioned.

The courtroom witnessed Dwumfour’s grieving relatives in tears, and an incident involving her mother, Mary, further heightened the drama.

Mary was arrested for throwing a water bottle at the suspect, which led to her facing a disorderly persons offense.

Tracking Down the Suspect

Bynum’s arrest came about in May when police traced him through phone records to Virginia.

These records revealed his ties to the Newark Chapter of the Nigerian-based Champions Royal Assembly Church, where Dwumfour had worked.

Prosecutors asserted that Dwumfour knew Bynum from her time as a pastor at the church.

Cell phone records indicated his journey from Virginia to New Jersey and then back to Virginia around the time of the murder.

Investigators also managed to link the weapon used in the crime to one found in Bynum’s apartment.

Complex Background

Interestingly, it was revealed that Bynum had once lived with Dwumfour and her daughter.

However, he was sent back to Virginia by the church due to his divergence from their beliefs.

Judge Joseph Paone decided to detain Bynum without bail until his next court appearance on October 30, citing “overwhelming evidence” and the horrific nature of the crime as reasons for this decision.

A Promising Politician’s Tragic End

Eunice Dwumfour had emerged as a promising political figure, winning a surprising election in November 2021 to become a councilwoman in the Borough of Sayreville.

Her term wasn’t set to end until 2024.

Despite her Newark roots and family ties there, she was residing in Sayreville as a single mother.

Dwumfour had recently married a pastor living in Nigeria and was juggling roles as a Certified Business Analyst, Scrum Professional for Fire Congress Fellowship Inc., and a part-time EMT.

Investigation and Early Witness Statements

During the initial stages of the investigation, some neighbors reported seeing Dwumfour talking to a man outside her car on security footage just before the fatal shooting.

Law enforcement pinpointed Bynum’s phone and car, a white Hyundai Elantra, through cellular tower extraction records.

Dwumfour had recently married her husband, Eze Kings, who resides in Nigeria, and they lived together with her 12-year-old daughter.

Pictures from their wedding day portrayed a joyous bride, but the tragic incident cut short her promising life.

Kings expressed his grief on Facebook, wishing his late wife a “happy glorious birthday in addy,” using Nigerian slang for advance.

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